We recently held our third webinar in the series "Sustainability and alternative asset managers: the new normal".
This webinar, "Holding asset managers to account", featured a panel decision, chaired by Doug Bryden, our Head of Risk & Operational Regulatory, on the topic of litigation risk coming out of the ESG agenda, with a particular focus on the risk to private equity firms and asset managers. Alongside Doug were Andrew J. Ehrlich and Audra J. Soloway of Paul, Weiss – both partners in the Litigation Department and the co-chairs of the Securities Litigation and Enforcement Group, and our own Heather Gagen, a partner in our Dispute Resolution department, who is experienced in advising clients in relation to large-scale, international and complex litigation and the management of ESG and business and human rights-related risk.
While noting the many positives that a focus on ESG credentials and activities can bring an organisation, the panel explored the associated downsides, including litigation, that can also arise - of which organisations may not be fully cognisant. These types of risk are amplified by the commercial and regulatory pressure (seen on both sides of the Atlantic) to promote ESG and make ESG-related disclosures. Businesses that look to engage with the ESG agenda need to consider carefully how they do this, to avoid becoming a target of ESG-related claims and/or regulatory attention. This note covers in detail the panel's discussion on these associated risks.